Gear Closet: Pakems Chamonix Travel Shoes Review

Whether we’re headed for the backcountry for an extended backpacking trip or flying off to some remote corner of the globe, these days it seems that we’re always looking for ways to light our load. In an ongoing effort to travel in a more minimalistic style, we’ve gotten to the point where we’re willing to sacrifice a few luxuries in order to cut a few ounces from our packs. But sometimes those amenities are worth bringing along, particularly when they bring a sense of comfort and fun while on the road. That is exactly what you’ll get from a pair of Pakems Chamonix travel shoes, which are worth what little weight they do add to your bag.

Designed from the ground up to be as comfortable and functional as possible, while still remaining feather light, Pakem shoes are meant to take with you on all of your adventures. To that end, they are surprisingly durable, which makes them not only great for shuffling around home or a hotel room, but also at the campsite too. Heck, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull them on when heading out for dinner after a long day on the slopes or even waring them while taking the dog for a walk. They may look like comfy slippers at first glance, but they are tough enough to use in just about any setting and still come away mostly unscathed.

As their name suggests, Pakems are meant to pack down nicely, taking up very little room in your bag. They even come with their own tote bag for easy storage as well. Add in the fact that they weigh next to nothing and you won’t think twice about bring them with you on your next trip. This is especially true once you’ve had a chance to wear them around a few times, as they are so comfortable you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them in the past.

Inside, the Chamonix sport a super-cushy footbed that will definitely remind you of your favorite bedroom slippers. On the outside, the upper is made from extremely soft fabrics as well, which feel great on your feet whether you’re wearing socks or not. A quick-lace draw string makes it easy to pull them on and off in a hurry, which comes in handy when getting ready slip into your sleeping bag after a long day or when you’re waiting in the security line at the airport. In fact, these shoes are fantastic for long flights, making it easy to kick them off and get comfortable when you know you’re not going anywhere for awhile.

Underneath, the Pakems feature a surprisingly robust sole that resembles something you might find on a trail running shoe, just scaled down a bit. This allows the wearer to maintain a good grip on a variety of surfaces, including dirty, mud, sand, and rock. The sole has a nice grippy feel to it, and while I wouldn’t want to hike long miles on a rugged trail, it is very well suited for wandering around a campsite.

When I travel I tend to only allow myself to bring two pairs of shoes with me. Often that means a pair of hiking boots for the trail, and possibly a comfortable pair of trail runners or travel shoes for other activities. Depending on the situation, the Pakems Chamonix can easily replace that second pair of shoes, or better yet compliment them. Because they take up such little room in your pack, and add very little weight, you can actually bring them along without sacrificing much. Then, when you’re really in need of relaxation and comfort, you’ll have another option to pamper your feet. There is nothing quite like slipping into these shoes after hiking in heavy boots all day. You’ll feel extremely pampered, even when you’re settling into a campsite that is far off the beaten path.

Pakems won’t put a hurt on your wallet either, which also makes them easy to recommend. The Chamonix costs just $64.00, which makes them an affordable compliment to the other shoes you wear while traveling. But, here’s a little secret; These shoes may be aimed at travelers, but they’re so comfortable and nice you’re going to want to wear them around home too. Fortunately they can stand up to daily use quite well, which means you can feel free to use them anytime, anywhere.

Find out more about the Pakems Chamonix shoes here.